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The Hogwarts of the Past

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(3 thoughts | share your thoughts)

[23 Apr 2005|07:47pm]

rigel_black
Rigel was pacing again.

He started from the fireplace, which he contantly looked into as if he was trying to find it's soul, and travled to the door. Back and forth, back and forth, stare, back and forth, stare.

I hate being here. She didn't trust me because of my house, because of my name.

Back and Forth, back and forth, stare.

She doesn't trust me. Or maybe she does. Maybe she really likes me, I just can't tell, because I think about her too much.

Back.

She probebly doesn't think of me.

The clock chimed seven. He glared at it, as if it was the clock's fault that he was depressed. He went to sit down and to write an owl to Blair.

He stopped, put his quill back into his pocket,he had pulled it out thinking af owling Blair, and started walking towards the door again.

He ran smack into someone he never wanted to see again. Spica.

(15 thoughts | share your thoughts)

In the Gryffindor Common Room, Monday Morning as promised.... [14 Apr 2005|07:43pm]

madeyeo
[ mood | nervous ]

Alastor is sitting on one of the chairs in the corner, looking out the window. Hogwarts Castle is gradually falling into springtime--the squid in the lake is moving restlessly in one corner of the lake; the birds are singing and the trees are in full bloom.

After sitting still for a moment, Alastor jumps to his feet to pace. He opens and closes his hands a few times, as if to regain circulation; he walks back and forth, glancing up every time someone comes down the stairs.

She said Monday morning, she said now... She never answered back whether or not she would meet me here, but surely she wouldn't just--just forget about it and ignore me? He runs a hand nervously through his already-tousled hair, taking a deep breath that shakes just a little. Right, Alastor, calm down--calm down. She's going to get here. She's going to show. She--she just got over a very tramatic weekend, and she's probably just winding down or something, I mean she got back last night but that doesn't mean a thing, she just needs some time--

What am I gettting so upset about anyway? It's just breakfast for God's sake.
He jams his hands into his pockets, turning back to the window.

After a beat he sinks back down into the chair again, head in hands. God, I wish she'd get DOWN HERE. This is driving me crazy.

Just then, he heard footsteps on the stairs, and turned around sharply. Was it her?

(11 thoughts | share your thoughts)

In the Third Floor Girls' Lavatory [25 Mar 2005|11:23am]

iamnottomriddle
[ mood | determined ]

Finally. Late evening. I've finally got prefect duty in this corridor. If anyone's in the bathroom, I've got the prerogative to kick them right out, and with a good deduction of points. Then, it's all the time I need to do whatever I need to FIGURE THIS OUT.

Tom slipped quickly into the bathroom. There was no risk, not even in this darkness. "Lumos," he said clearly and fearlessly. No need to be quiet, no foul, meddlesome Mudblood tonight . . .

He stopped when he saw what sat on the floor in front of him.

"You!"

(15 thoughts | share your thoughts)

[15 Mar 2005|04:18pm]

the_weakness
[ mood | contemplative ]

Robin walks outside, just her uniform on, out into the snowy grounds. She looks back, as if to see Tom following her, but she doesn't see anyone.

Good. I need to sort out my thoughts on this guy....he seems like two different people, one that talks and one that thinks. It doesnt make any sense!

She clears a small peice of ground from the snow, and squats down. She didnt want to sit, because the groud was still wet.

She waited.

Why am I even out here? It's not like he's going to follow.

(3 thoughts | share your thoughts)

In the third floor girl's toilet. [07 Mar 2005|08:38pm]

moaner_loaner
[ mood | crushed ]

Myrtle ducks into the bathroom, scrubbing at her face with the back of her wrist. Her eyes were puffy and pink from the tears, cheeks sticky where the tracks have traced their way down her round face. There is a sheen of more tears to come burgeoning at her eyes, swimming on the edges of her lashes, but she hurtles into one of the stalls and presses her face into her hands before they can spill over.

I HATE being the most hated girl in the school! Myrtle kicked her shoes against the bottom of the door, and it shuddered under the impact. I hate having to go to dinner and hearing people laugh at me, and having them throw food at me--even in my own House! It's not fair, it's just not--

The sudden tap of footsteps stilled Myrtle's feet and her choaking sobs quieted to soft little gasps of breath as tears dripped down her chin. Someone was coming down the hallway!

(37 thoughts | share your thoughts)

The Great Hall, Slytherin Table [03 Mar 2005|06:51am]

iamnottomriddle
[ mood | irked ]

Tom sat eating breakfast. Though he was alone as usual in the morning-- after all, it was early, and few students were up anyway-- he felt particularly lonely.

I can't believe I'm letting Rigel get to me. I'm more angry at him for what he's doing to the House than what he's doing to me . . . but I swear, if he tries to pull any of that blackmail on me, he will pay.

I was such a fool in first year for making friends with him. It was only because he talked to me, and was so nice to me, more so than the other Slytherins when I was first Sorted into the House. They all knew each other before me. Rigel was just an outsider, I suppose, already the bloodtraitor. Myself . . . I was just an ignorant child desperate for affection.

I should have paid attention to the colder Slytherin students. They would be so much easier to deal with now.

Rigel's flaws are going to drag me down, I just know it.</strike>

He glanced over at the other tables, where a few other students were settling down to eat.

Thankfully I've got prefect duty tonight in the corridor around the bathroom. That confounded Mudblood can't be suspicious when I'm pacing and have got a badge on.

(2 thoughts | share your thoughts)

hogsmeade... [22 Feb 2005|04:37pm]

blair_elderbar
[ mood | giggly ]

*Blair is up before the sun*

I have never in my ENTIRE life been this jittery or nervous before. Honestly, what's the world coming to?

*forces herself to slowly get ready, doing her hair perfectly*

"good."

Now... now is the time to force away the nervousness... now... what shall I wear?

*Picks out a nice school skirt with a slightly tight Bohemian shirt with flaring sleeves. A silver necklace with a blue flower on it, and a dash of perfume*

There... not too fancy, not too casual... Blair, you were freaking out for nothing.

"Blair! There's... someone out there waiting for you!!! *giggles*"

*rolls her eyes*

"Okay. i'm coming."

They need to study more... they're waaay too into gossipping. i can almost hear it now...

*Steps out into the hallway after grabbing her small purse and observes Rigel pacing, then looking out a window, then pacing again.*

Wow... he looks great!... well... here it goes!

"Good morning, Rigel! i appreciate your punctuality... Lead on, sir!"

*gives him a pleasant and radiant smile*

(7 thoughts | share your thoughts)

In the Boys' 5th-Year Slytherin Dorms [17 Feb 2005|06:50am]

iamnottomriddle
[ mood | curious ]

Tom came quietly into the dorm and slipped into his bed. He glanced across the bedside table at Rigel, whose bed was nearest his, and smirked slightly; Spica had been outside in the Common Room ranting and raving to anyone that would listen that Rigel was having an illicit affair with a Mudblood. Naturally, after telling about three people, it began to become old news-- and obviously a fabrication-- and so no one was really paying any attention anymore.

"Spica was looking for you," Tom said after a moment, interrupting Rigel's deep concentration on some book. "Don't know why you're so intolerable of her. Honestly, she's pureblood-- that's all that really matters, and she's not unattractive. In fact, she's quite pretty, when she shuts up enough for you to look at her." He sniggered, "You could do Silencio on her." He rolled his eyes, "Yes, I know, she's annoying as hell, but, really, Rigel; most boys would give anything to have a pretty pureblood girl after them-- and you're not even looking for marriage yet." People like me . . . no pureblood girl, pretty or not, is going to want to have me . . .

. . . at least not until I take care of a few things . . . though he can have Spica; I concede . . .


"This 'Mudblood' you've been dating must be pretty special. Is she a Mudblood? Really a Mudblood?" He snorted for a moment, "And have you really been sleeping with her?"

"But, Rigel, I must warn you . . . there's a rule, from all the way back when Salazar Slytherin established this school and this house, that Slytherins can only consort with and marry purebloods. I just found it in my research recently. It's an old rule, rarely enforced anymore-- and it becomes void as soon as you leave the House, anyway, considering that there's no longer any more points for you have taken away once you're married out of school-- but it's still there." He grinned rather frighteningly, "I just might have to take certain measures if it's really true."

As he waited for Rigel to reply, he leaned over the opposite side of his bed and pulled out a book from inside of his schoolbag. "Oh, that reminds me . . . I have this I've got to return to you." He laid the copy of "Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Geneology" on the table.

((^_^ Do a long post to reply, Tiffany! I spent a long time on this one . . . and don't talk to him like you do Spica, lol-- you can be cold, but, as of yet, Tom is still kind of your friend . . . ))

(20 thoughts | share your thoughts)

In a corridor, somewhere on the third floor... [16 Feb 2005|09:52pm]

madeyeo
[ mood | worried ]

It's a little after midday. The rest of Hogwarts is hard at work, immersed in books, burried away in classrooms or studying in the library. The sky is thick with the promise of a winter storm, and the brooding air of the weather bears down upon the whole school in an almost repressive manner. All is quiet--the classes have just gotten in order, everyone has settled down to work.

In a third-floor corridor on the west wing of the school, Alastor is crouched behind a statue, leaning his back against the heavy stone base. He cups his hand around the end of a cigarette, keeping the little flame safe from the gusts of wind that blow up and down the empty hallyway.

Okay. The key here is to just--just talk to her. She'll be coming along here any time now, the elves said that she was collecting her Charms work and then she was probably going to head back to the Tower. Just--just talk to her. It's easy, just step out and say, Hallo, McGona--er, Minerva; hallo, Minerva, heard that you were taking a bit of a leave of absence off of school. Anything I can do?

Alastor sucks moodily on the end of his cigarette and blows the smoke out in a rush, ruffling the ends of his hair. He sits quite still a moment, considering the conversation that he has just mapped out in his mind, then smacks his forehead with his hand, grumbling to himself.

"Of all the stupid, bloody--way to start a conversation, Moody," he congratulates himself aloud. "'Hallo, heard you were not in school because of your sick and possibly dying little sister. What can I do?' Way to have compassion, you twit."

He sucks on the cigarette again, then stubs it out against the wall before peering down the still-empty corridor. Still no sign of her.

Leaning back against the statue's base, Alastor rubs the heels of his hands against his eyes. "God, what am I doing?" he mutters. "This is so fucking stupid--"

But just then, he hears the sound of footsteps coming down the corridor, and he quickly pulls himself to order, sitting up and peering sidelong around the statue, to see...

(17 thoughts | share your thoughts)

Valentines Day Thoughts [13 Feb 2005|11:48am]

blair_elderbar
[ mood | full ]

*is laying in her bed, staring at the ceiling*

Was it all a dream? did I really dance every dance with him?.... did... did her really say all those nice things to me?... Merlin, I CAN'T go out there now! what will everyone say? They'll never let me live this down! ... but I don't want to totally blow him off, because there's a side to Rigel that I don't completely understand that showed itself to me...

*turns over*

Ooooh... and Valentine's day is tomorrow.... what'll happen? should i do something for him?

*sits up quickly and shakes head*

Stop it, Blair... Stop it. You're freaking out over a MAN. You've never done this before, and you don't intend to start now. You're independant. You'll just go about your days normally as if this never happened. You will ignore Spica, you will deny all that the girls say... and... you'll HOPE to not die if you see Rigel in the halls.

*blinks*

I'm not very good at motivating myself...

*smiles as she lies back down and relives the last dance of the night... Rigel holding her close and telling her random things... all she could remember was the sound of his deep voice resonating in his chest where she rested her head....*

(30 thoughts | share your thoughts)

In the Gryffindor Common Room. [26 Jan 2005|09:29am]

madeyeo
[ mood | nervous ]

Alastor sits off by himself, in one corner of the Common Room, broodingly considering the logs in the fireplace. Every so often, he shifts his weight around, drumming his fingers on the arms of the chair as though he's impatiant.

He sneaks a glance over his shoulder, back toward the staircases leading up to the dormitories, quickly turning back to the fireplace.

Where the hell is she? She has to come down the stairs sometime...and I KNOW that she was thinking about going to the Ball. She has to come down sometime.

The Common Room is a bustle of activity, full of chattering Gryffindors in their best robes, streaming back and forth from the portrait hole to the stairs, leaving and coming, picking each other up; the room is awash in noise, and Moody is on the edge of it all, turning to glance at the stairs surrepitiously every few moments.

He drums his fingers against the arm of the chair again, letting an impatiant sigh escape his mouth, blowing the unkempt fringe of his hair against his forehead. I don't get nervous, he reminded himself. It's not important. It's just--it's just a Ball. Who the hell cares. It's just--

He hears the pad of footsteps against the carpeted stairs from the dormitories, and turns around again; one swift glance toward the stairs is all that he needs to feel his heart contract out of sympathy for his nerves. Oh Christ.

Minerva stood at the bottom of the stairs, chatting with a few of her friends; Moody turned back around and sank lower into his chair. Why didn't I ask her earlier? But he knew the answer. He just wished that he didn't. He swallowed hard...

(12 thoughts | share your thoughts)

[25 Jan 2005|04:37pm]

blair_elderbar
[ mood | giggly ]

*looks about the common-room to her friends*

"Girls! have you noticed the time? come on, I want to get a good look at the great hall before the men start lining up!"

*girls laugh*

"Come on, Blair... you know only ONE man will be lining up tonight..."

*eyebrows raise*

"Oh? Well, I do not know what you are talking about... It is my goal not to dance with him tonight..."

*girls taunt her good-naturedly all the way down the hall*

(4 thoughts | share your thoughts)

In the Slytherin Common Room [25 Jan 2005|06:49am]

iamnottomriddle
[ mood | annoyed ]

Tom sat in the Slytherin Common Room, wishing everyone would just leave for the Ball already so he could be alone. The dorms were too cramped and smelly, and he wasn't a huge fan of the library.

Honestly, he thought to himself, It feels like they've been standing around milling about for more than a month now!!!

((And indeed they have *snickersnicker* let's do this thing . . . ))

(2 thoughts | share your thoughts)

The Slytherin Common Room, the night of the Yule Ball [13 Dec 2004|05:40pm]

afainterscream
[ mood | ignored ]

Spica emerged from the girls' dorms and slowly descended the staircase, trying to imagine that the various chatting groups of students were in fact admiring her in awe. Her ball gown was a shimmery green material that flowed into black ((lol, like mine, only mine was blue)), the perfect Slytherin combination. Her hair was twisted up into tight coils that spilled back down over her shoulders like snakes-- the effect she had wanted (Slytherins have weird taste, lol . . .).

Most had not even noticed her. It made her heart flutter with apprehension the way a shyer soul's would have in a crowd. She was used to attention, and now suddenly it was absent.

I had better find some boy to escort me, and quickly, or whatever will I tell Mother when I write home about the ball? Simply going with no one is positively unacceptable.

When she reached the bottom of the stairs, she sighed and simply stood, feeling pathetic-- an emotion with which she was not at ease.

(10 thoughts | share your thoughts)

The Slytherin Common Room [02 Dec 2004|08:23pm]

afainterscream
[ mood | cold ]

Spica sat placidly in the corner by the Slytherin fire. She shuffled a little in her seat, trying to get warm.

The Slytherin fire is never warm enough, she complained to herself.

She heard the creak of the Slytherin doorway opening to reveal several fifth-year boys walking in, chatting gaily amongst themselves. She froze and immediately fixed her neck downwards, pretending to be staring hard at her book, while in reality she was watching them all intently.

She sucked in a shallow breath. Ohh . . . it's Rigel.

(1 thought | share your thoughts)

Gryffindor Common Room [Open to, well, the Gryffindors...] [28 Nov 2004|05:34pm]

_mcgonagall_m
[ mood | frustrated ]

Minerva watched fat small snow clumps fall to the ground. Although the first snow fall had been during the week, she still marveled at the entire transformation from greys and browns of the school grounds to pure white. Student made paths criss-crossed the grounds, mostly to the greenhouses and a few diehards had stomped out a small trial to the quidditch pitch.

She sighed and turned back to her homework. She’d like nothing more than to abandon her homework and go out and play in the snow. Silly, really. I haven’t played in the snow for years. But I have this strangest desire to.

She continued to take notes for Transfiguration theory. Their latest project was to pick an advanced spell and research it, starting with its history and examining specifically how it had changed through the ages and why. Elgrid Yefflet was the first to expand the idea of changing physical appearance. Early versions of the Polyjuice Potion were able to produce a different physical person, but Yefflet was more interested in changing physical appearances to a more animalistic nature. His colleagues’ experimentation with the Polyjuice Potion led to some rather disastrous results, which led him to believe that a completely different potion was needed. He started with the basic ingredients of the Polyjuice; however upon discovering that is was these very items that defined the change in human appearance, he scrapped that idea and decided that a spell-based transfiguration was needed...

She felt her concentration wander for the sixth or seventh time that afternoon. Quidditch season was officially over with the Hufflepuff’s loss over the weekend, and she no longer had her Saturdays day filled to the brim. I now I have time to worry about everything else. She sighed, and looked up to the ceiling in the Gryffindor common room. The stone arches looked the same as usual, graceful semi-circles twenty or so feet overhead.

She watched the common room. There was game of wizard’s chess going on over by the fireplace, a group of fourth years discussing divinitation methods and pretending to be scholarly, and a few other studious others, like herself, diligently writing and reading. Or in her case, attempting to.

What would happen if I suddenly just stopped? Just threw down my quill for the day and read a book for pleasure or grabbed my broom and went flying around the pitch or went outside and made snow angels and snowmen and threw snowballs? Jut because I can, she thought rebelliously. She carefully laid down her quill. ...there, I just did it like I always do. Quietly, correctly, properly. Proper Minerva McGonagall. A phrase suddenly ran unbidden in her mind: “Ice Bitch McGonagall of Gryffindor House...” She looked down at her parchment, as if it held the answers. Do they really think that of me? Am I really that cold and unapproachable? Am I really that mean? Uncaring?

She rubbed her forehead, wishing that she could concentrate.

(14 thoughts | share your thoughts)

Running along the corridor, away from the library.... [22 Nov 2004|06:09pm]

moaner_loaner
[ mood | hurt ]

Myrtle nearly flew along the hallway leading away from the library, the laughter of her peers and classmates rining in her ears. Her face was doused in tears, her hands clamped firmly over her face.

How could she? How could she do that to me? That--that horrible Rebecca Eddings! She said she was going to help me, and she just--she made it all WORSE!

She hurtled along the corridor, feet flying, slapping the flagstone in a desperate pattern, hardly looking where she was going. Therefore it hardly came as a surprise as she rushed headlong around a corner and came upon the strangest sight...

(12 thoughts | share your thoughts)

Outside, on the grounds... [22 Nov 2004|01:31am]

madeyeo
[ mood | melancholy ]

Long after dinner, Alastor Moody walked alone on the grounds of Hogwarts. It was after hours. The moon, a half-filled sphere hanging lonely in the full darkness of the night, was edged in a light mist as clouds scudded across the empty sky.

The water of the lake glimmered in the silvery light, reflecting the gold-lit windows of Hogwarts. Alastor paused by the lake's edge, staring into the dark water that gently lapped the sandy bank. After a silent moment, he dipped the toe of his shoe into the frigid water, thoughtfully.

The wind moaned in the trees of the Forbidden Forest; across the way, he could see the groundskeeper's hut, its windows dark in the after-midnight hour.

He was restless. It had been difficult for him to avoid the argument in the Great Hall at dinner; it had been a waste of time, of course. But Alastor was in such a mood that he would seieze on any excuse to fight with someone. He wanted to do something.

That Spica Nigellus...too full of herself, he mused, stirring the water with his toes. Did she really think that bringing up Pureblood heritage would spark an intrest with me, or a sympathy?

A dark little smile quicked his lips. Not hardly. I can't stand her, or that gang of Slytherins that she's always out and about with. Not that I like Myrtle Munddylow much better, I suppose. And then there's McGonagall...

Alastor sank down on a rather large rock, protruding from the water's edge. It was cold; he could feel the chill of the stone right through his trousers. He reached into his pocket with rather numb fingers, finding a cigarette somewhere deep near the bottom; a quick spell brought flames sparking to his fingertips, and he lit the cig up and took a deep drag.

The smoke eked out his nose, drawing a fine mist over the water's edge. It quickly disappated in the wind that blew sharp in the next moment, and Alastor caught his breath at the frigid chill of the cold night's breeze.

The problem really is, I don't care. I don't feel attatched to this place. Being held back only intensified the whole ordeal. I don't care, I don't want to be here, I don't care about the petty arguments or the spats or the politics and dynamics, or the classes or the marks. Shape up or you'll fail again, they tell me. Where's the threat in that when I've already failed once?

I'm supposed to care and I'm supposed to want--what? To get a good job after this? So I can not care about my job, so I can sit and listen to people talk around me, listen to them debate and argue about matters that don't mean anything to me?

But what
do I want, in that case?

His eyes strayed across the lake water, toward the shimmering reflection of Hogwarts Castle. Every day I wake up in that dormitory; every day I swing my legs over the side of the same damn bed and go to the same classes with the same people. Every day I listen to the same arguments--classes, NEWTS, bad marks and good marks; the actions of the Minister of Magic, stories about politics and treaties and the war, and every day I remember that I don't care.

Alastor took a deep drag on his cigarette, drawing the smoke down his throat. It hit the roof of his mouth with a distinctly sour flavor, but he swallowed it down anyway.

It doesn't matter. I've known that all along, but being here and living this only illustrates it more: it doesn't matter.

He threw the smouldering butt of his cigarette down on the sand, grinding it out with his heel. It smoked briefly, ash glowing a dim red in the darkness.

Alastor watched it until it was cold and dead. Then he turned around and slowly made his way back to the castle, fingers gone numb from cold.

It's going to snow soon, he thought to himself, as another breath of cold air blew down from the moutain. Do I want it to snow?

Ah, he reminded himself, with an ironic little grin, but that doesn't matter either.

The stairs were long and steep; Alastor made the climb alone in the dim half-light of the sleeping castle. The darkness was thick and opressive, but he liked it that way. It was easy to slide along the corridors, disguised in the shadows. The prefects had all long gone to sleep; the professors would not be out stalking the midnight hour. It's too late and too cold for anyone to be awake. Or at least, awake and about. Anyone but me.

Even the corridor to the portrait hole was dark and deserted. Alastor slunk along in the darkness, pausing only to mumble the password. "Caput Draconus."

The Fat Lady yawned, motioning him onward with her other hand. "Can't you get back at a decent hour of the night?" she demanded as he climbed inside.

"No," Alastor answered her sharply. "I can't," and he didn't hear if she answered, because the portrait swung shut behind him.

There were still coals glowing in the fireplace; he swung himself into the nearest armchair and lit another cigarette with a flick of his fingertips. If only the prefects hadn't confiscated his store of firewhiskey...he was old enough to have it, and he wasn't giving it to anyone else. I don't share, he thought with a smile. What made them think that I would give out firewhiskey?

Alastor took another long drag on his cigarette, the smoke leaking down his chin and spreading over the firegrate, mingling with the woodsmoke...

(16 thoughts | share your thoughts)

In the Great Hall [21 Nov 2004|08:58pm]

afainterscream
[ mood | complacent ]

Spica sat serenely at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall, eating dinner((yes I know it's late but I wanted a central location)), running a social commentary to herself that she found particularly profound.

Peeves apparently is being a little worse than usual. I wouldn't really know; I'm only judging from what I've heard complaints of. The Bloody Baron hovers over the Slytherin table, so we're really quite well-protected-- as we ought be. The school knows where its gold comes from. She smirked up at the bloody ghost, seeming not to notice the unappetizing quality to him.

She sighed and glanced over to the Hufflepuff table, where Myrtle sat, and sniffed. Then she said aloud, to no one in particular, "Some folks really ought to do being more diplomatic about their complaints. There are prefects to be seen to, and professors to discuss matters with. Simply complaining to one's self does very little."

She took a dainty bite off of her fork, and returned to observing-- and judging-- the students around her.

(9 thoughts | share your thoughts)

On Patrol in the Slytherin Corridor [20 Nov 2004|10:06pm]

iamnottomriddle
[ mood | deep in thought ]

Tom sat tucked between a suit of armor and a cold brick wall, reading the book he had taken. He was on patrol for prefect duty: He had to watch the corridor along which was the entrance to the Slytherin dorms until midnight. Of course, no one was stupid enough to come down his way-- and he really didn't feel like making the effort to catch anyone, though with a little extra trouble he could find their routes. He'd save sacrificing their trust for some time when he needed a little something extra from the teachers.

It's a big balance of deeds, that's all, he mused. I let a Slytherin off, and he owes me something, even if it's just a little extra respect. If I catch him and turn him in, the school owes me something. Tonight, I don't need anything, so my Housemates are free to frivilously go off to the kitchens if they please. I have reading to do, besides.

He continued to sit, poring over the probably banned Dark Arts book Rigel had managed to smuggle in-- and he had managed to smuggle out. He was so engrossed he did not even notice when someone walked straight down his hall . . .

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